Choosing the Right Bead

Posted by Susan Carter on


Over the last decade or so, the bead craze has swept through the Northwest like a tornado through Oz, becoming one of the most dominant steelhead presentations for coastal rivers, making jigs, worms and corkies seem like antique lures your grandpa keeps in one of those old school tackleboxes with the expanding trays. Modern tacklecrafting for steelhead has shifted gears to the point that anglers are putting their chenille and feathers in the attic to collect dust. A lot of what knowledge develops behinds closed doors and in the field is kept between friends and inner circles. However, ambitious anglers are attending seminars and consuming literature, doing whatever it takes to improve their chances, to achieve bead fishing wizard status. In order to stay ahead of the curve, you have to be willing to experiment, and at times, grow comfortable with failure. As Mark Twain said, “Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.” The only way you’re going to get better at fishing is by wetting a line and seeing what works (or doesn’t).



I’ll admit that I’m no wizard. I’m often outfished by the company I keep, and not without lack of trying. Having the opportunity to attend a few of these seminars, while consuming a few of those articles and fishing with a number of guides, I started to pick up that there’s a lot of different styles, methods and presentations such as drift fishing, bobber-dogging or float fishing. Any angler with an internet connection can find a tutorial on YouTube.



Joining a local conservation group like Northwest Steelheaders or Coastal Conservation Association, is a good excuse to attend regular meetings with guest demonstrations similar to what you might see at a fishing expo, only on a much more smaller, localized, and friendly scale. Being able to interact with the presenter face-to-face is an entirely different experience. It’s a classroom environment, and a opportunity to continue your personal angler’s education. Communicating first-hand with guest presenters creates an opportunity to fill in the gaps of what you might see in a YouTube tutorial, or even read in an article or a book.



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